Samsung has barely unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch that rumours have surfaced that the South Korean company is already readying a successor for launch in early 2014. South Korea’s Daum web portal reports that the Galaxy Gear 2 could be unveiled as early as CES 2014 in January or MWC 2014 in February.
While Samsung has managed to pack quite a bit of functionality into the Galaxy Gear (including a 1.9MP camera), its first smartwatch also comes with a number of compromises that could limit its appeal. Battery life is limited to about a day and compatibility is currently limited to the Galaxy Note 3 and the new Galaxy Note 10.1 although Samsung is working on growing that list. A relatively high price (US$299) is unlikely to help as well.
The market response to the Galaxy Gear will provide Samsung with useful information about what customers like and don’t like. That information will likely make its way into the design of the Galaxy Gear 2 (and successors), potentially giving Samsung an edge over competitors also planning smartwatches.
Little is known about the Galaxy Gear 2 at this point but it will reportedly come with GPS and support more devices than its predecessor. Better battery life is likely to also be on the list of improvements.
At this point, it appears that an announcement in early 2014 might be premature. Not only will the original Galaxy Gear have been on the market for only a few months but it will likely take Samsung a bit of time to incorporate market feedback into its second generation smartwatch. Then again, a few months has often proven to be a lifetime in the world of mobile gadgets.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear has yet to land in the hands of consumers. It will make its Canadian debut on October 4th alongside the Galaxy Note 3. Other markets may see it as early as September 25th.